Monday, December 31, 2007

HK Trams

from a current project.

The diversity of effects possible with a single negative keeps me interested, though they'd drive a designer crazy. All these images were printed with an A4-size color negative, inverted in photoshop.

hairy tram
Tram printed onto velvet

tottering tram
Printed on a scrap of Belgian linen
Some distortion due to the pliable fabric

organza tram
Tram on silk organza
The fabric shrank dramatically after being printed, so I was able to scan the entire image.

spooky tram somerset
Print on Somerset
More like my usual printing technique, on pure white cotton paper.

spooky tram
Tram on Arches cream
An experimental print onto off-white paper; I enjoy the richness, but for a series it's not ideal, as highlights are lost.

Happy new year to everyone, near & far.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Cyanotypes from carved glass

River delta cyanotype, Andrew Brott

This New Orleans-based artist makes cyanotypes out of his sculpted glass panels. See more of his tremendous work and methods at his website.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Cyan Silhouettes

Life-size silhouettes printed onto cloth by students at a Jonathan Bailey workshop. The lightish lines running through the figures come from wrinkles in the fabric during exposure.

Friday, December 07, 2007

December Open Studio

December's moving in, Christmas is coming fast, and it's time again for the Second Sunday party at The Cyan Studio. This month we're pleased to feature affordable art prints & photos from a diverse selection of artists from Lamma's creative community - just in time to send home a personalized gift from HK in your Christmas packages.

Stop by this Sunday afternoon from 2-6pm for spicy mulled wine and savory art. Meet the artists in the informal setting of this community gallery, and browse through their art that offers new views of Hong Kong and beyond. 10% of purchases will go to help a Cambodian friend who lives near Angkor Wat get closer to his dream of going to university. Navuth Ou is a fantastically friendly driver in Siem Reap, and is always happy to show visitors his favorite spots in town. Just email me for his contact information.

Artists include Roz Keep, Paul Lau, Grahame Collins, and more.

Photos to come soon....

Monday, November 12, 2007

Photos from the show yesterday:

One of the photographic subjects

Andy Maluche, Philippines-based photographer

Vernon Ram, Lamma luminary

With Lamma-Gung, the featured artist

Nick the Bookman

Monday, November 05, 2007

Baby beaters

During the past month or so, I've begun to make paper in the studio, staying up late and filling the studio shower with paper pulp. I've been grinding up cotton t-shirts and recycling paper for experiments - most now turned into cards and bookmarks - with the goal of making a quality surface for my cyanotypes.

Since I couldn't find the gorgeous Lanaquarelle paper in HK that I'd used for the Bokor series, I decided it was time to make my own.

While struggling with long cotton fibers that jammed up my blender blades and caused the overloaded contraption to smoke, I'd dream of one of these:

A Critter beater, handmade by the artist Mark Lander

This guy has singlehandedly revolutionized papermaking for independent artists. Why? Until he started building his Critters, a small-scale studio artist like me couldn't dream of grinding materials into high-quality paper. Most industrial Hollander beaters start at around US $6000-$7500 including shipping, while his models are about $2000.

Here he and the Critter are at work with papermakers in Victoria.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

e with red dress side, originally uploaded by e.briel.

Last year painted a pair of silk hangings - a commission for a Thai restaurant in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I did several versions of Rama, painted with cyanotype liquid onto handwoven silk organza.

They resemble shadow-puppets, a traditional artform prthroughout SE Asia.

Ever the perfectionist, I was unsatisfied with the first Rama so then had it made into a dress instead.

Monday, October 01, 2007

September's Sketchcrawl

with members of Hong Kong's CG Forum last week. Many of them are professional illustrators; all of them are much more adept at computer-aided drawing than I am. Check out Andrew Lee's portfolio.

Some photos:

Harry, one of the organizers

And a couple of my sketches:

Another sketcher

I didn't use pencil that day, so it took awhile to warm up

Monday, September 24, 2007

Wistful for wax

Process: Painting in Encaustic, originally uploaded by e.briel.
Photo from 2000, painting in encaustic.

During my last year at university, I received a grant to study encaustic painting, an ancient Greco-Roman technique of painting in wax. I continued working in the medium for a few years, then turned to cyanotypes as they were more portable for my travelling lifestyle than cumbersome kilos of wax painted onto wood panels. But since settling in here, I've considered starting working in encaustic again.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Leena's paintings will be at the studio till Spinoza/Edward's show of "Wild Teenage Beatnik Dancers" on October 14th.

They'll be available for private viewing, and prints should be available in coming months.

Leena in heels

Lisa wants this one

Jo and friends

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Candid photos

Leena with artist - and Chinese/English translator - Annie Knibb

Looking lovely

Monday, August 27, 2007

two girls products

This composition was influenced by the Kwong Sang Hong Two Girls logo, a Hong Kong commercial icon.

My favorite product is their Florida Water, made with Bergamot, Clove and Lavender. It's a refreshing unisex scent, great for sprinkling onto cool summer towels. The website even claims it can "help dispel effects of alcoholic hangover."

The original models for the painting may have been men, according to their website, and these transsexual calendar girls were painted with the "scraping brush" technique.

Artists would first coat the paper with carbon, to give it softness and depth; I do something similar when I give mine a thinned-out wash of color before painting.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

HK Mural Society Update

You can see the finished mural here.

The Society is actively looking for new projects, artists, and assistants. Please see the website for more information.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Aha! The procession last week was apparently for the Hungry Ghost Festival.

On the island you can catch a whiff of burning offerings in the evenings. It smells a lot like the Catholic churches I'd go to when growing up: lots of smoking incense, paper, and mystery.

Photo from Penang, Malaysia, during the Hungry Ghost festival 2004.

Friday, August 17, 2007

made to measure

made to measure, originally uploaded by e.briel.

Too many women let worries about dress size control their lives. I drew this after thinly-veiled criticism of my recent eating habits from a friend.

It reminded me of another friend - even more neurotic about what she put into her mouth and how she burned it off - who competed with everyone around her. She was constantly comparing her fitness and every physical attribute with other women.

When I've let their words get to me, I realize that the criticism they dole out is nothing compared to what they impose on themselves. It's sad that they turn the simple sensual pleasures of eating into a guilt-filled battle for control over themselves and others.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Street Scenes

One can forget how weird and wonderful a place Lamma can be.

As I worked in the studio this afternoon, I heard horns from the street below.

Then drums ~

Then bells.

Why were they were trudging in the rain from the Tin Hau temple towards the beach(?) That's for them to know and me to find out.

PS: Just read "How to be Creative". Written three years ago, but timeless.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mom's visit to Macau

Macanese dinner with Mom on Taipa island, Macau

New Zealand butter not-melting on Roy's birthday at a Portuguese restaurant in Macau

Both show how tired I was after a long day of painting pillars. By 10pm, I'd be falling asleep at the table.

Monday, August 13, 2007

venetian base

venetian base, originally uploaded by e.briel.

In progress: one of the columns we marbled in recent weeks.

Photos of finished columns will be posted once they've removed scaffolding and directors have taken photos. In the meantime, I'm back in HK and working on getting more work. Ah, the freelance life....

Friday, August 10, 2007

"Venetian construction" photos by my mom.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Venetian photos

Someday soon these will be shops for the fast-won filthy lucre from gambling.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Venetian Ceiling

The ceiling above our columns.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Live Paint Hat

Live Paint Hat, originally uploaded by e.briel.

your typical "mirror autoportrait" shot - with hard hat.

The guys working outside had a great solution to the summer heat: cut off the brims of straw hats and tape them onto the plastic hat required onsite, for shade and skull protection at the same time.


Elizabeth, originally uploaded by pilyabilya.

Marbling the red base of a column. You can see the bamboo scaffolding we worked on every day, 50+ feet above the escalators below.

photo by Joanne

Joanne's last day

DSCN0131, originally uploaded by pilyabilya.

She's 6 months along!

This is Joanne, the painter and tattooist who introduced me to Live Paint. Check out some of her work at Bluetongue Designs, here.

Monday, August 06, 2007


JD, originally uploaded by pilyabilya.

photo by Joanne

Sledge and the singing Ginner

Sledge and the singing Ginner, originally uploaded by pilyabilya.

Two men with livers of steel: they'd have 8-10 pints every night, then be up for breakfast at 7 the next morning.

Photo by Joanne.

Sasi and Rai

Sasi and Rai, originally uploaded by pilyabilya.

Great guys to work with - both from Nepal, they've been in HK for many years.

Photo by Joanne.

Boss 1 and 2: Eric and Hazel of Live Paint

Boss 1 and 2, originally uploaded by pilyabilya.

photo by Joanne